Saturday, June 09, 2018
TKC SATURDAY NIGHT PLAYLIST!!! HEDGE FUND LOOTS KANSAS CITY STAR!!!
Over the years we've talked about why The Kansas City Star is so horrible. There are a lot of reasons but most of them seem to come down to readers feeling neglected or unrepresented by the editorial staff and management.
Layoffs, delivery problems and thinning content are just a symptom of a larger trend. While former journos attempt to offer explanations, excuses or insights via their pathetic online endeavors - The discussion is mostly over their heads and their "reporting" often suffers without the organizational support they once enjoyed during their glory days at their old newspaper jobs they endlessly mourn. Blogging about staffing changes from the outside of an old job seems fun but also kinda bittersweet - And yes, we'll miss "Hoopz" when she moves out of town.
Meanwhile, our TKC blog community has always examined THE BIG PICTURE and offered reporting and perspective that no other news-ish outlet in Kansas City can dare match. To wit . . .
CHECK THIS TKC READER INSIGHT EXPLANATION OF HEDGE FUND INFLUENCE DECIMATING THE KANSAS CITY STAR!!!
Sadly, this financial trend is taking hold across the nation and targets struggling papers like KC's rag . . .
The Hard Truth at Newspapers Across America: Hedge Funds Are in Charge
Here's the local hot take and better insight than any local newsie can muster:
"The Star's parent company, McClatchy, is largely owned by Chatham Asset Management. Hedge funds like Chatham control many (if not most) of the daily papers in cities roughly the size of KC. They're trying to wring every last dime they can out of the failing rags, full in the knowledge that the publications are going to die.
"Circulation (print subscriptions in particular) is one area when they can still do this, mainly because long-time subscribers are often older folks who feel they are uninformed without "the paper." It would be equivalent to a younger demographic being denied WIFI or their phones, so they jack the price through the roof.
"Firing staff is another area where hedge funds can cut costs and recoup investment (Denver Post is the latest high profile example, they're owned by the fund Alden Global Capital). The Star can and will fire more staff, but after another round of "layoffs" they'll have hit the absolute bottom of the bucket. Real estate is another source of revenue, and we've already seen that scenario play out.
"Here's the point. Chatham isn't interested in upping online subscribers at the Star (my understanding is that they only have something like 11,000 stand-alone, online subscribers). It's just not worth the trouble. They're far more invested in stripping the jewelry and gold filling from the corpse prior to dumping it in the hole."
Meanwhile, journalists continue to suffer at the hands of big money interests and the most recent insult offers an important sign of the times:
Pravda: Elon Musk’s solution for punishing journalists
And so, financial facts of life impact the KCMO news scene more than anyone would dare realize and inspire our playlist tonight.
As always, thanks for reading this week and have a safe and fun Saturday night.